A newly published gypsum quality protocol could save industries which generate waste plasterboard around £8 million each year in disposal costs.
The Quality Protocol for the Production of Recycled Gypsum from Waste Plasterboard, published by the Waste Protocols Project a joint Waste & Resources Action Programme and Environment Agency initiative no longer defines used gypsum as waste.
The move will save firms money usually spent on waste management legislation regulating the storage and transportation of waste gypsum. It is also hoped without the waste tag, market confidence in recycled gypsum will increase and demand for waste plasterboard will rise.
More than one million tonnes of waste plasterboard enters the UK waste stream each year.
WRAP joint project executive Marvyn Jones said: By establishing end of waste criteria and assuring standards, the gypsum quality protocol makes it easier for end markets predominantly plasterboard and cement manufacture, and agriculture to use recycled gypsum.
By increasing the value of sales of the product, the Quality Protocol could realise a net benefit to industry estimated to be £38 million between now and 2020.
Manufacturers of new plasterboard signed up to the Ashdown Agreement may also benefit from the protocol. The agreement covers targets to recover and recycle gypsum back into new plasterboard and reduce waste sent to landfill.
Gypsum material is banned from non-hazardous landfill since the introduction of the Landfill Directive and producers can now only send gypsum materials to mono-cell landfill.